Is Robust Value Naturalism Evolutionarily Impossible?
Organização:  CFCUL & CIUHCT
Ciências ULisboa
23 / 06 / 2022

So far, evolutionary arguments have relied on defeasible and abductive reasoning when debunking realist theories of value, as when natural selection plays the role of an undercutting defeater or is said to be a scientifically unacceptable epistemic warrantor, respectively. Contrastively, we will develop a deductive evolutionary argument against causal-reductionist or naturalist theories of value, which, insofar as they agree with Street’s (2006) criteria, we shall refer to as robust value naturalism. Briefly, we will argue that it is impossible for normative/causal properties to have played a selective role in the evolution of our evaluative attitudes and robust value naturalism to be simultaneously true. The inconsistency lies in that which normative/causal properties can constitute the selective pressures on our evaluative attitudes nomologically depends on our evaluative attitudes’ causal powers, thereby violating Street’s criteria. We conclude with a potential naturalist reply that suggests rejecting Street’s taxonomy whilst preserving all objectivity worth wanting.

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